Arizona’s commonsense self-defense bill

Arizona Republicans are passing legislation to expand the legal boundaries within which citizens can defend their homes, but the media want you to think it encourages people to shoot illegal immigrants

On Thursday, the Arizona House of Representatives passed Bill 2843, which still has to be approved by the Arizona Senate before going to the governor. The bill is designed to expand self-defense rights to allow homeowners to use lethal action on anyone trespassing on their property if it seems necessary to do so to protect those staying at their residence:

“A person or his agent in lawful possession or control of premises is justified in threatening to use deadly physical force or in threatening or using physical force against another when and to the extent that a reasonable person would believe it immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by the other person in or on the premises.” 

The bill amends Arizona’s previous self-defense limitations. The “castle doctrine” permits the use of lethal force against home invaders, while “stand your ground” laws let anyone defend themselves with lethal force if they are being approached with threatening intent. 

Members of the media would like you to think that the bill is designed to give Republican gun fanatics legal permission to murder illegal immigrants. A misleading article headline by Axios reads, “Arizona GOP advances bill legalizing killing undocumented migrants on suspicion of trespassing.” The bill never mentions anything related to illegal immigration. 

It is easy to understand how leftists can find a way to spin the bill into an immigration issue, however, because they know what all members of the public know: The border crisis is currently the gravest threat to the public. The latest Gallup poll found that by February 2024, concerns about immigration have skyrocketed to the top, leading by 8 points at 28%, the runner-ups being the government at 20% and the economy at 12%.

There is a significant link between illegal immigration and crime. In 2018 alone, the 7% illegal immigrant population made up 64% of all federal arrests. Violent crime is no exception. Last Thursday, an illegal immigrant who was arrested and released in New York was accused of kidnapping and bashing in the skull of 22-year-old student Laken Riley. On Feb. 8, an illegal immigrant who was deported three times and arrested twice was accused of shooting a 2-year-old boy in a gang fight. 

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Arizona is in a particularly threatened position. The Tucson region, the border sector that comprises nearly all of Arizona’s southern border, has become the No. 1 spot for border crossings; it had 250,611 border crossings between October 2023 and January 2024, a 182.4% increase in border crossings since the previous year. 

The Left continues to lie and frame basic commonsense defense measures as anti-immigrant, even when immigration is not directly addressed. Nevertheless, it is important that Arizona and other states take preventive measures that will ensure the safety of their citizens while the federal government refuses to do it for them. 

Parker Miller is a 2024 Washington Examiner winter fellow.

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